Movies

Movie review: 'Halloween' still scares up chills

Jamie Lee Curtis returns in direct sequel to the John Carpenter original

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 10/19/18

Laurie Strode — and the young woman who portrayed her — was a teenager when we first saw her in John Carpenter's phenomenally successful horror flick back in 1978.

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Movies

Movie review: 'Halloween' still scares up chills

Jamie Lee Curtis returns in direct sequel to the John Carpenter original

Posted

Laurie Strode — and the young woman who portrayed her — was a teenager when we first saw her in John Carpenter's phenomenally successful horror flick back in 1978. Both have matured in the intervening years, not to mention becoming smarter and a lot tougher.

Jamie Lee Curtis, returns in this direct sequel to the original, which has been created as homage to the spirit of the first by David Gordon Green. Yes, you can forget all the crazy timelines and fanboy-fueled connections.

In this movie, Laurie is not even related to Michael Myers. If you have a chance, see the original before watching this. That way you’ll see some of the clever references Green peppered throughout.

This time around, her nemesis remains a murderous hulk masked in a William Shatner rubber visage, at least 61 years old by now, who hacks his way back to good old Haddonfield, Illinois just in time for Halloween.

The film opens on a pair of “researchers,” who have arranged to see Michael at the facility where he’s been locked up for decades. Hoping to gain a mountain of followers for their lurid killer-of-the-week-style podcast, British-accented Dana Haines and Aaron Korey (Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall) make the acquaintance of a Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), who we’ll quickly recognize as “the new Loomis.”

Sartain tries to warn them that his predecessor was right about Michael. Although he’s never spoken a word since his capture 45 years ago, he remains a physical embodiment of evil.

In the meantime, we catch up with Laurie’s family, specifically her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and her effort to raise a healthy, smart teenage daughter, named Allyson (Andi Matichak), while also trying to deal with the PTSD-induced trauma of a childhood under a mother driven paranoid. Laurie, now gray-haired and buffed out, has become somewhat of a survivalist, building out her home into a high-tech fortress and training herself to be able to handle anything.

Naturally, Michael manages to escape and heads straight for Haddonfield — on Halloween.

The movie makes use of a clear-eyed approach to the sequence of events as they unfold in our present time, especially with regard to the empowerment of women. The original, despite Carpenter’s denial that it was nothing more than a horror movie, made use of symbolism depicting its protagonist as possessed of a purity that protected her against evil.

In this, purity has become infused with the essence of contemporary movements against sexual harassment and assault. These are warrior women here and even Michael Myers may have met his match.

This is a violent movie, as you would expect, but what happens follows a peculiar logic and doesn’t include shocks for gratuitous shock value. Watch for a satisfying twist at the end.

Tempo grade: B

“Halloween” is rated R for horror violence and bloody images, language, brief drug use and nudity.

It is screening daily starting Friday (Oct. 19) at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

Fahrenheit 11/9

MPAA rating: R for language and some disturbing material/ images

Taos Community Auditorium

Filmmaker Michael Moore predicted that Donald Trump would become the 45th president of the United States.

Traveling across the country, Moore interviews American citizens to get a sense of the social, economic and political impact of Trump's victory. Moore also takes an in-depth look at the media, the Electoral College, the government agenda and his hometown of Flint, Michigan.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 21) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (Oct. 22-24) at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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